Innovate BC supports NanoVation project to improve mRNA stability and production for vaccines

Oct 18, 2022

L to R: Don Enns (NTx), Jayesh Kulkarni (NTx), Nadine Diner (Innovate BC), Eric Jan (UBC), Yihang Chen (UBC), Kate Hollinshead (NTx)

A project being led by NanoVation Therapeutics (NTx) and Dr. Eric Jan of the University of British Columbia (UBC) has been awarded the maximum funding allotment available through BC Innovate’s Ignite program.

On 29 September 2022, the same night that NTx Board Chair and co-Founder Dr. Pieter Cullis was presented the 2022 Bloom Burton Award in Toronto, Dr. Jan and various NTx representatives took the stage at an Innovate BC awards ceremony in Vancouver. Dr. Jan and colleagues were presented with a cheque for $300,000, the maximum award amount available through Innovate BC’s Ignite program. The funding will support a project that aims to advance RNA vaccines by improving mRNA stability and production.

“We are grateful for the endorsement and support of this project by BC Innovates. The novel IP we are developing will help bridge the gap when it comes to effectively delivering nucleic acid drugs,” Dr. Jan comments. Dr. Jan is a leader in RNA synthesis and protein expression and a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UBC.

The award was one of eight presented at the event; the NTx project was the sole undertaking from the biotech sector to receive support. Other projects supported were from the cleantech, mining, agriculture, and forestry sectors.

Innovate BC is an agency of the Province of British Columbia that helps technology startups and entrepreneurs commercialize their technology. The Ignite program, funded by the Natural Resources and Applied Sciences (NRAS) Endowment Fund, issues grants six to eight awards annually to expedite R&D and go-to-market projects involving academic-industry collaborations in the natural resources and applied sciences.